For Spring/Summer 2013, London menswear finds itself in a hitherto-unknown position of acceptance, kicking off the season with the opening slot. The delinquent with influence has just been made headboy.
As a result the London men’s calendar, which sees British designers adhering to the beat of Milan and Paris’ heavy-hitters, has matured in both production and polish—but without growing out of that extra something that sets it apart from the other capitals: personality. That’s what has made this début a real success, whether in Sibling’s raffia-edged gladiators, Shaun Samson’s tightrope between grunge and hip-hop, or Astrid Andersen’s protagonists, who treat the gym (and the basketball court) as their church, as seen amongst fashion director Alastair McKimm’s highlights here.
Irony, humour, intellect, and willful attitude are what have built both the London collections’ idiosyncrasy and the city’s community of creatives. Where else do designers call each other up to exchange factory details, big each other up in the press, turn up to each other’s shows, and then go down to the pub together and forget it all afterwards? They do all this whilst still remaining wholly dedicated to their craft.
Fashion as lifestyle has always been our island’s strength. And so it remains—now with a bigger audience and the platform it rightfully deserves.